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SEO – Its Not All About Content! January 21, 2010

Posted by Joe Kamenar in SEO / SEM.
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Most SEO (Search Engine Optimization) experts will tell you that the key to ranking well in organic search is having relevant content and making sure your keywords are properly used in the Meta Keyword Tag on your web page. Pages are ranked for content, and to be a “quality page”, the content must be relevant. However, this is not always the case. Consider a Google search for ‘automotive lighting’. One of the top sites is www.Sylvania.com. If you look at the landing page – http://www.sylvania.com/BusinessProducts/AutomotiveLighting you will see that there is not much content on the page. On the page, the term ‘automotive lighting’ is only used twice (not including the heading and breadcrumb). Even worse, if you view the source of the page, the keyword meta tag does not even mention lighting, and the page heading is not even in an <h1> tag, which is another SEO trick. Not only that, but none of the images have any alt text, and for good SEO one typically would use the keywords in the alt text for each image.

So, why does this page rank in the Top 3 results out of over 19,000,000 page results?  There are four reasons:

  • Page Title
  • URL
  • Meta Description Tag
  • Inbound Links

Page Title. The page title of the landing page contains the search term, “Automotive Lighting”. This follows recommended SEO strategy. Ideally, the search term should be near the front of page title.

URL. The URL of this page also contains the term AutomotiveLighting. When creating page names, it is important to use the most relevant term as a part of the URL. Proper keyword research and monthly searches on suggested terms should be used to use the proper term in your landing page URL. If you have multiple subject pages, give each one a URL containing the targeted keyword.

Meta Description Tag. The content of the Meta Description Tag is often used as the text that Google shows as a part of the search result. It should be used to convince the viewer to click on your page. For the page in question, the tag reads “SYLVANIA automotive lighting products are found as original equipment in many popular cars and trucks”. While this tag does use the keyword, it is does not really compel the viewer to click. Perhaps a better description tag would read “SYLVANIA automotive lighting products are an excellent choice if you are looking for a replacement automotive light”. This tag still uses the keyword term, and puts the idea into the viewer’s mind that he or she is indeed looking for a replacement light. I believe that Sylvania would get a higher click-through rate with this description tag.

Inbound Links. The key to the success of Sylvania’s page is in the fact that there are hundreds of other sites that link to Sylvania’s site. Many of these sites are resellers of their products, or they are news articles or press releases. The key take away is that the site has a high external link popularity. If you go to http://www.altavista.com and enter this search: link:www.sylvania.com, you will see a list of what other sites are linking to their site.

To summarize this and give you some useful advice, if you want your site to rank well in organic search, you need to pay attention to more than just content. You will want to ensure that your page title, the URL name and Meta Description tag all contain your keyword term, and that you work on creating plenty of external links to your site. One way to do this is to create informative press releases and submit them through services like PRWeb. Another way to get external links is to write articles and submit them to the many ezine article sites that exist. Be sure to include a link back to your site in each article. If feasible, create informative videos and host them on all the social video sites (YouTube, DailyMotion, MetaCafe, and others). You can get an extensive list of video sharing sites at http://www.iyiz.com/63-social-video-sharing-sites.